§ 64. Mr. W. THORNE
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that Messrs. Howard and Bollough, an 1898 engineering firm at Accrington, locked out all their employés about three weeks ago because of a dispute with the Amalgamated Society of Engineers; if he is aware that the advisory committee have decided that the workpeople who are not in dispute are entitled to unemployed benefit under Part II. of the National Insurance Act, and that the question has been put before the umpire for his decision; and if he can state the cause of the umpire's delay in coming to a decision.
The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Robertson)
My attention has been called to this dispute. About 300 claims for unemployment benefit have been received, and all have been disallowed. In only five cases have appeals against the disallowance been lodged. Two of these appeals were made by workmen in the spindle and flyer department through the National Union of Gas Workers and General Labourers, and three by workmen in the building department and fluted roller department. The cases were heard by the Blackburn Court of Referees on the 23rd July, and the Court, by a majority, recommended that the two appeals of the workmen engaged in the spindle and flyer departments should be allowed, on the ground that there was no dispute between these workmen and the employers, and that the department in question was covered by the proviso to Section 87 (1) of the National Insurance Act. The Board of Trade have declined to accept this recommendation, and have informed the association accordingly, with a view to the association referring the matter further to the Umpire if they desire to do so. The other three appeals were adjourned by the Court of Referees pending the decision of the Umpire on the first two cases. The question has not yet been put before the Umpire for his decision. It will be put before him as soon as a request to this effect is received from the association.